Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2010

Volunteers show how much they care

About 300 people mark Roger Hill event with projects throughout county

Volunteers Judith Emde, left, and Molly Hood pull compost from the bed of a truck as they and others work to create a native prairie garden at the northeast corner of Centennial Park, at Ninth Street and Rockledge Road. These two were among about 300 volunteers who showed up to various sites in Douglas County on Saturday to work as a part of the Day of Caring.

Volunteers Judith Emde, left, and Molly Hood pull compost from the bed of a truck as they and others work to create a native prairie garden at the northeast corner of Centennial Park, at Ninth Street and Rockledge Road. These two were among about 300 volunteers who showed up to various sites in Douglas County on Saturday to work as a part of the Day of Caring.

April 25, 2010

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Volunteers step up for Day of Caring

Hundreds of area residents volunteering during Saturday's Day of Caring. There were more than 45 community projects undertaken as part of the day's activities in Douglas County. Enlarge video

Hundreds of volunteers spent Saturday planting gardens, painting and pulling weeds across Douglas County as part of the annual Day of Caring event sponsored by Roger Hill Volunteer Center.

Anissa Norris and her two daughters, Carlee, 8, and Halle, 11, joined about a dozen volunteers working on the courtyard at the Medicalodges nursing home in Eudora, one of 45 service-project sites.

Lawrence residents Tashia Dare, center, and Sandy Theilen work to tidy up a flower bed outside the Family Promise shelter. Day of Caring is sponsored by the Roger Hill volunteer Center.

Lawrence residents Tashia Dare, center, and Sandy Theilen work to tidy up a flower bed outside the Family Promise shelter. Day of Caring is sponsored by the Roger Hill volunteer Center.

Norris said the project was a good learning opportunity for her daughters, and she hoped the experience would encourage a lifelong commitment to helping others.

“I think it’s really important for them to start young,” Norris said.

Instilling a commitment to community volunteerism in people of all ages was one of the main goals of the event, said Emily Hampton, the volunteer coordinator for Roger Hill.

“Hopefully they’ll be inspired,” said Hampton, “… (and) encourage volunteering year-round.”

Volunteers worked on projects ranging from home repairs for low-income residents to gardening projects at area parks.

Kansas University student Juan Rivera said he heard about the event online and thought it’d be an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday.

“Why not?” said Rivera, who fixed up a picnic table for an area nonprofit in the morning and did some painting at another site in the afternoon. “It was fun.”

More than 300 volunteers pitched in for the projects, and Hampton said the wide community support for the event wasn’t surprising.

“Every year we have a huge turnout,” Hampton said. “It shows that Douglas County residents know what’s important.”

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